As TechCrunch reports over here, Songbird has released 0.3 and launched their shiny new developer site (thanks to the help from the talented PM of Jeffrey McManus and some creative derailing by us *sorry Jeffrey!*).
Why is this significant? Well, #1, I've been really excited about the future of the media web ever since the whole Radiohead thing and the launch of the Amazon MP3 store. Don't get me wrong, I heart my iTunes/iPod experience, but I think it seriously sucks that Apple is the gatekeeper to my media consumption.
#2, Songbird certainly isn't ready for a full-on customer experience at 0.3, but they are ready for a stronger, more involved developer community (this new version is more stable), which will get them there faster. Because it is an open platform, people can develop all sorts of cool things. We think of it as a cauldron in which anyone can mashup media services. It's kind of limitless. Personally, I'd love to take my Last.fm data and run it against Flickr to find great concert shots. Or perhaps someday Songbird will help me discover non-signed artists all over the web because it knows who my Twitter friends are discovering. Or it could even automagically create a Pandora station for me based on the artist I'm reading about. I don't know. The possibilities are endless.
Either way, I always loved Mozilla's statement that their goal is to promote choice on the web and Songbird is doing this for the media web. Choice is good for all of us.
Going forward, we will be putting together a list of events and working on creating some incentives to start working on extensions, etc. The first event we've put together is the Tuesday after next (November 13) at Songbird's very cool offices, the Media Web Meetup discussing Rock'n'Rebirth. Everything is still in very early stages, but I see a total revolution happening in this area of media and technology...it's been a powder keg for some time now.
So, congrats Songbird! I look forward to 'playing the web' with you at a future date. :)